Ben Scott's Home Page — The Cow Path
Welcome to the Cow Path!
I call my personal home page The Cow Path. Why? Because, like a cow path, my page is small, out-of-the-way, doesn't look very interesting, and indeed doesn't really have much of interest on it. But it may lead you somewhere interesting, and there is always a small chance you might find something interesting on it. Of course, as a friend of mine pointed out, the other thing you usually find on a cow path is a lot of... manure.
Who Am I?
My full name is "Benjamin Scott", but most people (myself included) just use "Ben". I've long used the handle "Dragonhawk" (hence the name of my vanity domain). You can call me that if you want. I also answer to "Hey you!", as well as assorted grunts and gestures. Whatever works.
I live in New Hampshire, in the New England region of the United States. I'm a techno-geek, a professional computer system administrator by trade. Most of what you'll find here is related to that.
Why Do I Have a Web Site?
I occasionally have a need to post something that isn't suitable for whatever mailing list or social media platform I'm using at the time. This site gives me a place for that. It also gives me a sandbox in which I can try out ideas or new web software.
What You Can Find Here
Available in the following formats:
I also provide a list of products and technologies I've worked with.
Here you will find software I've written, configurations I've built, and knowledge I can share.
This is stuff that should run on any platform with compatible software. Most of it was developed on Linux, and adheres to the traditional Unix design philosophy, but doesn't have anything particularly Unix-specific in it.
- Modified TFMail — A patch against spam, for the NMS TFMail form-to-email script
- Disk usage by extension — Like du(1) but totaled by file name extension
- Disk usage for FTP — Like du(1) but for files on an FTP site
- Maildir deduplication — Find messages in a Maildir with the same Message-ID
- Emacs editor — Configs and code
- Understanding the Network UPS Tools (NUT) — Explanation of architecture and operation, with diagrams, and sample config and scripts
- multitail — Follow and colorize multiple logs in real-time
- Firefox config bits — Assorted small tweaks and hidden settings. You'll need to view the file contents and comments to understand their purposes.
Unix and Linux
- guardcat — Perl script intended to monitor, log, alert, and/or control Linux PC hardware sensors and fans
- FVWM (F? Virtual Window Manager) — Configs, scripts, notes
- Running PHP as a different user under Apache with FPM and mod_proxy_fcgi — I wanted to run different PHP apps under different execution contexts (users) for security and performance reasons. This accomplishes it under Apache, using mod_proxy_fcgi and FPM (FastCGI PHP Manager).
- Assorted tiny utilities — Like any other systems geek, over the years I have accumulated tiny programs written to accomplish some particular task. Here are a few that may be useful to others. You'll have to Use The Source, Luke.
- Windows Update Offline — PowerShell module to manage updates for air-gapped computers
- Compare-File — Compare two directory trees and report files that differ
- Log management
- Bulk import of Custom View files
- Finding Non-Empty Logs with PowerShell
- Rotate Windows Event Logs with PowerShell or CMD Batch
- Get-WinEventAround: Finding Windows Log Events Around A Given Time
- Manually Registering a Log Source for Windows Event Viewer — Fix "The description for Event ID (42) in Source (foo) could not be found"
- Config bits — Assorted config files, registry entries, and scripts. Again, you'll need to examine the file contents to know what they do.
- List Add/Remove Programs (lsAppWiz)
- OpenFileGrumbler — Email users who leave files open overnight
- Backup scripts for NTBACKUP (obsolete)
- For Each Computer — Run a command for every computer on the LAN (semi-obsolete)
- NTSYSADMIN — Information for refugees from Sunbelt's NTSYSADMIN forum
- Nortel Norstar and BCM lore
- BCM Call Detail Recording (CDR)
- PBX vs Key System — A brief write-up on telephone system types (now largely obsolete)
- Wordle — The word list, and some quick-and-dirty analysis
Feel free to contact me! I am open to suggestions, comments, commendations, and condemnations. Let me know what you think I'm doing right or wrong. Or just say "Hi". You may use the form linked below to send me a message:Contact Ben
Colophon and Copyright
You may note that the design of this web site is rather plain. Part of this is just that my talents don't include graphics design. But there are technical-philosophical reasons, too. This site is standards-compliant, and downgrades gracefully to any browser. It respects user font choices, colors, and so on, in keeping the web's underappreciated ability to present the same content in different ways under user control. It meets accessibility guidelines and should be usable to people using screen readers or other media. It is likely to continue working well into the future as well. While all of that yields a rather utilitarian appearance, that suits my goals.
Except where otherwise noted, all work on this site is my own.
These web pages (the HTML and CSS) and any graphics/images are licensed under the terms of the CC-BY-4.0 license. Basically, you can do anything you like with it, as long as credit is given.
Unless otherwise noted in the specific files, all software/code files on this website are dedicated to the public domain, per the Unlicense. You can do anything you like with them. You don't even need to worry about attribution.